Authorities: Owosso man spit on officer, implied he might have coronavirus


FLINT, Mich. (WLNS) — A 26-year-old man from mid-Michigan faces two felony charges after he spit in the face of a police officer and implied that he might have COVID-19, authorities say.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton filed charges against Ian Thurmes for harmful substance-person falsely exposed, which is a 5-year felony, as well as resisting and obstructing police, a 2-year felony.

When Mt. Morris Township police were sent to a home on reports of a possible domestic disturbance and an active fight in the yard, Thurmes appeared to be highly intoxicated. He was put in handcuffs for his safety, according to a press release from the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.

While in handcuffs, Thurmes spit in the face of an officer, who was wearing a protective face mask. Thurmes then laughed, asked the officer if she thought he had the coronavirus and stated that maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.

“This is no laughing matter and I don’t find any humor in it all,” Leyton said. “People are dying from this virus, the entire world has been turned upside down because of it, and our first responders do not need the added stress of being worried whether they are going to contract this virus while they are performing their duties.”

Thurmes will be arraigned on the charges in 67th District Court and a probable cause conference will be scheduled.

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